Creating a dynamic illustration in Photoshop


In this lesson, New York illustrator Kervin Brisso shares his techniques for creating an image of a super-athlete in an atmosphere created in the best traditions of sci-fi art.

The key techniques we will use include adjustment layers, blending modes, and even Illustrator to create some elements (although it is possible to complete this lesson without using it). As always, do not be afraid to experiment with colors and shades of the image.

Final image:

Working hours: 3 hours

Required software: Photoshop, Illustrator (functional)

Step 1

To get started, find a stock photo of the athlete that you like. You will need to cut it. In my opinion, doing it is much more convenient using the Illustrator tool. Pen (Pen) (P), than with the help of similar tools Photoshop, so if you have such an opportunity – use it. Highlight the athlete using points. Scroll hair roughly, we will fix it later in Photoshop.

If you don’t have Illustrator, just cut it in Photoshop and go straight to Step 3.

Step 2

Copy and paste the athlete in Photoshop. Cmd / Ctrl + click on a layer to create a selection around it. Select Quick selection tool (Fast selection) (W). Alt + click to refine the area with hair.

Step 3

While the athlete is still highlighted, create a layer mask. Select it in the layers panel and hold Cmd / Ctrl + Alt + R to open the mask editing panel. Adjust the settings until you are satisfied with the result.

Step 4

Select brush white and use a layer mask to remove excess edges around the athlete. Be careful not to erase too much, otherwise it will be too clear that your photo has been cropped. Next, use Clone stamp(Stamp) (S) to remove the pole and the shadow on the legs of an athlete.

Step 5

From the menu Image – Adjustments (Image – Correction) select Gradient map (Gradient Map) to add a black and white gradient map. Press Cmd / Ctrl + Alt + G to add a clipping mask based on the photo on the layer below.

Step 6

Before you start adding details, it is important to determine the mood of the image. Once you make a decision, the remaining elements will only help, complementing the picture.
To do this, create a gradient layer on top of the background layer. Use a radial gradient as shown. Next, add an adjustment layer. Levels (Levels with clipping mask to the layer with the athlete in order to focus on the contrast of highlights and shadows on it.

Step 7

Now that the image has some atmosphere, it’s time to add some color. Double click on the gradient icon on our gradient layer, and then click on the gradient editor. Use the sliders, adding different shades.

Add also a few adjustment layers. Gradient map and Solid color fill (layers completely filled with color) to the image to diversify our shades using the blend mode Color (Color tone)

Step 8

Create thin, angular gradients using thin and translucent layers. Gradient fill (gradient fill), as shown here, for example. You should have a ray that goes to infinity. If necessary, use a layer mask to remove the beam from some parts of the athlete’s photo.

Step 9

Now is the time to add motion – add a few radial gradients and remove unnecessary parts of them.

Step 10

Add shine, various sparks and other details around the athlete. To begin with, draw the outline of the athlete, including her clothes in detail, with a thin white brush. Then draw a few sparks. Next, apply a layer style. Outer glow (External glow).

Step 11

Next, open Illustrator and draw several lines arranged in a circle. And to do this, use the Line tool. Draw a cross. Select both lines, right-click and go Transform – Rotate. Set the angle to 45 degrees and click Copy.

Repeat this step and rotate by 22.5 degrees, 11.25 degrees, 6.25, and so on. Each time before the rotation, do not forget to choose your original lines.

Note: if you don’t have Illustrator, skip to the next step and use from the source files.

Step 12

Copy your radial lines into Photoshop and place them as you like (or Add a layer mask, then layer styles. Outer glow (External glow) and Color overlay (Overlay color) to create shiny pink lines. Remove unnecessary parts of the line with a black brush on the layer mask. Repeat using yellow in layer style. Color overlay.

Step 13

And now we will add stars. Select a hard brush and add points on the new layer. When you have added enough stars, you can copy the layer, rotate and change the opacity. Thus, place the stars around the field.

Step 14

With the help of various brushes you can make even greater emphasis on movement and atmosphere. Use adjustment layers such as Color balance (Color balance) to adjust the shades.

Save your creation in jpg format. Open the image and add some noise. This will add a bit of texture to your work.

At this, we finish the job! Here’s what we got:

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